It was all going so well, wasn’t it? When Lady Gaga unveiled plans for her ‘ARTPOP’ album back in July (!), she teased an album and app that would ‘bring the music industry into a new age’. Fast forward to March and the album campaign has been an almighty mess. From singles not really being singles to videos going awry, the ‘ARTPOP’ era has left her career at a crossroads. Although her tour is selling well and it’d be ignorant to label her a flop, the foundations for album four are more unsturdy than she is at an airport. However, like all pop things, this is salvageable. Here’s what she could do next:
Actually release songs properly
A good place to start would be to actually release some stuff properly. They did it right with ‘Applause’, although all that good work has been forgotten due to the mess that was ‘Do What U Want’. Although that did well, it would’ve been all-conquering if they chucked out a video/stopped her performing ‘Dope’ at any given opportunity. Anyway, her album does have some good singles left on it:
(image: Interscope Records)
‘G.U.Y’ would be the best option because a) it’s the best song on there that isn’t ‘Do What U Want’ and b) it has a really good chorus. ‘Gypsy’ too would be good if they’re literally about to give up so chuck out a tour video. ‘Sexxx Dreams’ would work if they turned it into a duet (with Rihanna, preferably), and so would ‘Jewels and Drugs’ if they swapped in Iggy Azalea and Angel Haze. The rest wouldn’t work at all because they’re either too weird or really shit (seriously if she goes with ‘Dope’ or ‘MANiCURE’…).
Move on to a new album
Probably the safest option would be to release a new album. But if she were to do this, she’d need to work with different people. One of the reasons why ‘ARTPOP’ didn’t do as well as ‘Born This Way’ is because they’re way too similar. For album four, she needs to try something new. Imagine if she worked with Ariel Rechtshaid. Or MNEK. Or just someone who isn’t DJ White Shadow. She also needs to collaborate with some upcoming people. She’s in a dangerous position whereby if she continues to work with the likes of R Kelly and Christina Aguilera, she may join the ‘not had a hit for ages’ category. She needs to work with someone like BANKS. In fact, a dark electronic album with no shit and bloody massive choruses would be ideal. The album should only have nine songs too. As stingy as that sounds, the best albums have not many songs (see ‘FleshTone’ and ‘The Fame Monster’).
Do a festival
Admittedly a headlining slot at Glastonbury is unlikely, but a festival slot somewhere would do her the world of good. Not only would it be a really good show but it’d remind the general public as to why she’s so good. It would need to be relatively normal though, and she’d need to kill it. Beyoncé would almost certainly not be in the position she is in now if she messed up at Glastonbury. Saying that, perhaps Lady G could do the Superbowl next year. If she got it right, she’d have the world at her feet. So basically what she needs is a massive performance somewhere.
Take a break
Perhaps what she needs most is a break. For two reasons in particular. Firstly, to create hype for the next album. Imagine if she didn’t give any information away about said album a year before the release. Imagine if she didn’t promise the world’s greatest app. Imagine if she literally said “hey, my new album is out in two months, you’re only getting one single before” etc etc. It would work. Equally, she needs to get something to write about. All of her albums talk about the same thing. She should live a little and come back singing about how she almost got stung by a jellyfish whilst scuba-diving in Australia.
Just do something
In summary, Lady Gaga needs to do something because she’s far too good to lose.
WHAT A SONG.